Staying at the top of the WordPress game

In the WordPress world, things move and evolve quickly. Tens — sometimes hundreds — of new issues pop up each day. Modifications to WordPress Core happen on daily basis. The community is vibrant, doing something all the time. That’s good. What’s even better is to start following these changes. You could become a better WordPress developer that way. Which sites, blogs and resources to subscribe to, though?

WordPress mailing lists

We are in luck here — has a large number of various mailing lists. I’m subscribed to these:

  • wp-svn: updates to the SVN repository (code commits)
  • wp-trac: additions and changes to Tickets at Trac (bug tracking system)

I recommend watching these lists closely, especially the SVN commits as they are merged into the main WordPress codebase, and will be included in the upcoming WordPress release.

If you don’t want to receive every single ticket, head over to the Trac Notifications page and tweak the settings there.

Getting automated notifications

Another handy feature is getting automated notifications based on a string you want notified about when it gets mentioned. Visit a secret profile settings page: ( = lamosty in my case) and configure it there.

Right, but now I’m flooded with (sometimes) not so important emails

Are you using Gmail as your email client? I got a solution for you: Gmail Filters!

Adding Gmail Filters

Navigate to Settings -> Filters

Gmail Filters menu
Figure 1: Gmail Filters menu

At the bottom of the page, there is a button to ‘Create a new filter’. Click on it. A small dialog, shown on Figure 2, pops out.

Create new filter menu
Figure 2: Create new filter menu

Let’s filter emails carrying SVN commits notifications.

  1. From:
  2. Subject: wp-svn
  3. Check Skip the Inbox (Archive it)
  4. Check Apply the label and create new labels — ‘WordPress’ and ‘SVN Commits’ (nest it under ‘WordPress’ for better organization)

Repeat these steps for other things. For example:

  • Matches: from:( subject:(WordPress Trac) Do this: Skip Inbox, Apply label “Filters/WordPress/Trac”, Never send it to Spam
  • Matches: from:( subject:(WordPress Core Weekly) Do this: Skip Inbox, Apply label “Filters/WordPress/Core”
  • Matches: from:( subject:( Forums) Do this: Skip Inbox, Apply label “Filters/WordPress/Forums”
  • Matches: from:(WordPress Tavern Do this: Skip Inbox, Apply label “Filters/WordPress”

Filters for special occasions

Once in a while, a wonderful thing happens — you get mentioned in one of those emails. As an example, I created a new ticket with a patch that eventually made it to the core (yay!) It would be unfortunate if I missed a notification about it.

We can detect if an email has specific words with Gmail filters. Look for the ‘Has the words’ field in the new filter creation dialog.

Filter emails having specific words
Figure 3: Filter emails having specific words

I’ve also set up a new label called ‘Trac — Lamosty’ for this purpose.

Wrapping it up

Keeping an eye on everything what’s happened in the WordPress ecosystem (or just Core if developer) is essential. Thanks to Gmail Filters feature possible too. In addition to the mailing lists mentioned in the article, I’m also subscribed to many WordPress-related news outlets and blogs. A good read doesn’t harm.

Do you have your own list of must-read and must-follow sites? Share it with me in the comments below please. 🙂

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